I grimaced as my teacher called my name. I turned to the tall, muscular man that was my [American] football coach. He nodded to me. “Tyler, we're having an extra practice today...it is optional, but you play so well that it would be good to have you come and show some the others how it's done.”
I shook my head, “Sorry coach! Mom wants me home, we're having company!”
“Alright then Tyler,” the coach replied, shaking his head disappointedly, “see you tomorrow at practice then; don't forget the big game on Thursday!”
I nodded, “No worries coach! I'm looking forward to it!”
I turned and headed walked through the empty school parking lot. I always stayed later than everyone else to work out with the coach. Sometimes we would do some football exercises as well, but that was less often. I hitched my backpack a little higher on my back as I exited the school grounds. It was a long walk back home and I didn't want to be late.
I had only told my coach half the truth. Mom did want me home. However, it wasn't because we were having company...as if we could afford that, it was because dad was coming home and I was the only one who could persuade him not to get drunk and hurt my sisters. There was no way I was going to tell my coach that though. He might call the child protection...then they would either arrest dad, or take my sisters away. Either one would be detrimental to the family...dad was our only income, and my sisters...well...I love them as much as life itself.
I ran a hand through my curly brown hair and sighed. It could be so hard sometimes to keep dad off the liquor. I really hoped he didn't decide to stop at a bar before he even got home...then we would lose all the day's income...and I just didn't have the energy to keep him away from my sisters and mom after he was already drunk. I really didn't want to think about that.
As I walked through the city the buildings got more and more drab. I was nearing my neighborhood when I realized that a man had been following me for about five blocks. I made a quick series of five different turns. When I glanced casually back, the man was still right behind me...he was even getting closer...so much for going home. I wasn't about to lead some creepy stranger home. I broke out into a run, making as many turns as I could in hopes of loosing the freak. It didn't work...the man managed to stay right behind me! How did he do that! I was a freaking wide receiver! I made a snap decision and turned around to charge the guy instead.
I charged at him with my head lowered. Just as I was about to hit him however, he quickly sidestepped me and slammed his fist against my head. Stars burst against the back of my skull, but I turned around to face this creep anyways. “What do you want?” I growled at him.
“I want you,” the man replied simply. His hand suddenly whipped to his side and he pulled out a gun. Before I could react he pulled the trigger. There clicking sound and a whoosh, then I felt a prick on the side of my neck. I brought my hand up and had just enough time to feel a dart embedded in my neck before everything went black.